Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Liatris punctata

Dotted Blazing Star, Dotted Gayfeather, Dotted Liatris

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Liatris punctata (Dotted blazing star)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
The erect, unbranched stems of this perennial may be solitary but are usually in clusters, 1-2 ft. tall.Several stems bear narrow, crowded heads with rose-lavender flowers arranged in slender wands. Numerous narrow leaves are crowded along the stem as they intermingle with the tufted flowers. Disk flowers crowd together to form a lavender spike encompassing the top third or half of the stem.

Rayless heads of purple flowers and slender, often plume-like bristles on the fruits generally identify this complex genus of the East that barely extends into the West.

The species name punctata means dotted and refers to the speckled leaves.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AR , CO , IL , IA , KS , LA , MI , MN , MO , MT , NE , NM , ND , OH , OK , SD , TN , TX , WI , WY
Canada: AB , MB , SK
Native Distribution: Alt. to NM, e. to MI, IA, w. MO, AR & TX; naturalized eastward
Native Habitat: Loess hills; prairies

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy, calcareous soils.
Conditions Comments: A long taproot makes this the most drought-tolerant of the gayfeathers. A bushier plant is formed if it is cut back or mowed during the growing season. This is a long-lived plant that is tolerant of alkaline soils.


Use Ornamental: This plant makes an excellent cut flower and, if cut at the beginning of its bloom, will retain its purple color and make an excellent dry flower for arrangements. Gay feather is also a good choice for container gardens.
Use Wildlife: Liatris spp. attract butterflies.
Use Medicinal: Pulverized roots eaten to improve appetite. Powdered entire plant for tea for heart pains. Boiled root applied to swellings. Tea for stomachache, bladder and kidney problems.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Last Update: 2016-02-24